Tuesday, July 23, 2013

My wife's currently obsessed with Pearl Jam so I did her an oil painting of Eddie Vedder all swishy haired and singing for her birthday. This is my second foray in to oils and I think they're great: going to be doing a lot more oil painting if I get the chance.

Saturday, May 25, 2013


After painting Tyrion Lannister, I thought it's only right that I paint our own imp, Tirion. The name 'Tirion' is Welsh for 'gentle' - her name was quite uninspired by the Game of Thrones!

So, here's my latest digital painting. Again, painted in Krita using a wacom bamboo.


And the process animation:

Monday, May 20, 2013

Tyrion Lannister

Another study piece from a photo reference, again painted using Krita and a Wacom Bamboo.  It's everybody's favourite Bacchusian small person with a rapier wit and a heart of gold, Tyrion Lannister:

With this image, I'm trying to practice subtler lighting effects.  Here's the process gif, which has ended up looking a bit like ageing in reverse. My preliminary sketch was pretty rough:

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Open source painting

NEXT model, painted in Krita with a Wacom Bamboo, from photo reference.
One of the great things that's come out of discussions about Adobe's new pricing structure is a bit of publicity for open-source alternatives.   Whilst gimp is fine for photo and texture manipulation tasks, I've always found it a little clumsy for painting. It's better in 2.8 and by no means unusable but it never seems to flow.  I've been looking for an open source alternative and did this painting to try out Krita.

Krita does feel better for painting tasks than Gimp so it fills a need. I did find the fact that the brush seemed to forget my size setting irritating and brush resizing is a little slow but all in all, it has a good solid feel to it. Open GL support (which should speed things up) seems sketchy at the moment - I actually found it slower using hardware acceleration, at least on my card (NVidia 9500).

Other affordable alternatives that I like are:

Sketch Book Pro and Paint tool SAI, which still has the best blending brush I've used so far.

I like open source, always available tools. I hate messing about with licences - I use different machines and I'll upgrade/reinstall/mess up/recover at least one of them quite frequently. Messing about with restrictive licences complicates this process and has, in the past, left me without the tools I need with a deadline looming.  Free software and unlimited trail/nagware doesn't treat the customer as the enemy or a sheep to be fleeced, which is a good first step in a positive relationship.
  That said, I'm a software developer and this stuff isn't easy. It takes skill and a great deal of time: it deserves remuneration, which is why I'd ask you to buy your commercial software and please donate to open source projects.

Also, I've been playing with the rather wonderful linux command line tool 'convert' which is great for doing batch conversions of images and, amongst other things, for making animated gifs:

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Sunday sketching. This is a made up place but I did go to Clovelly in Devon last year.
Sketchbook pro and a wacom bamboo. 

My wife now expects (nay, demands) that all her cards be hand drawn. She prefers that they're hand drawn using traditional media but I reserve the right to let that depend on my mood at the time of drawing.
This is my 2013's mother's day card for my wife, showing her about to conquer some bad dream or other lurking in the metaphorical deep dark woods of our child's psyche. Although, to be fair, I have to deal with actual beasties :)

Grey scale underpainting

And finish off with the colours. All of them.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Bob girl

I'm trying my hand at working in greyscale and adding colour later.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Spooky house speed paint

This chap is a botanist, hunting rather violent plant life on some distant world. 

I sketched him out in greyscale first
And then coloured the final image with a series of multiplicative and additive layers.

Monday, February 25, 2013

I drew this chap in Sketchbook Pro 5 with a Wacom Bamboo. I'm not entirely sure what the glowing cyan rings do but It'll be something cool.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

This is from a kid's workshop that my daughter and I have been attending. The idea was to recast local Victorian philanthropist and art patron, Glynn Vivian, as some sort of action hero.

Engineer girl sketch


Santa doesn't play fair in snow ball fights

I do a fair bit of sketching at my desk, usually whilst my code is compiling. These pictures aren't usually very finished but are sometimes a bit better than a doodle. Anyway, I haven't shared these before so that's what I'm going to do with this blog.